Setting aside the time for a five-minute running warm-up before going out the door can make all the difference between an amazing run and one where it feels like you never quite find your stride. Plus, you don’t need any equipment to get this done.
In this video, which is the first installment in Sweat With SELF’s new Fitness for Runners series, you’ll learn how to string together just a few exercises to reap major benefits. Rhandi Orme, a certified run coach and personal trainer, and trainer Quan Bailey will take you through the exercises designed to raise your heart rate and get your muscles warm—both of which will prepare your body for the demand of running.
This quick routine is a dynamic warm-up, meaning it’s made up of movement-based exercises. Dynamic movements are more effective at warming up your body than static movements like stretching (say, when you move into a position and hold it for several seconds) because they take your muscles through larger ranges of motion. Dynamic exercises also help hone your mind-muscle connection, which helps make sure you’re activating the right muscles during your actual workout, as SELF reported previously.
In this five-minute running warm-up, you’ll start with high knees and butt kickers—two dynamic moves that mimic the motion used in running (albeit in an exaggerated form). Then you’ll move into some lunge variations, which will fire up your quads and your glutes as well as help your body get used to moving in different planes of motion. Then you’ll round out your quick warm-up routine with moves designed to work your mobility, such as the leg swing and hip swing, before ending with some calf raises.
These kinds of dynamic moves are especially important for runners because they help you maintain proper running form when you’re on the roads—which can help guard against injury. Plus, because the routine gradually increases your heart rate, your body will feel ready to take on the demands of running when you get started.
To make the most out of your run, try this routine beforehand to warm up your body—and then once you’re done, try this quick post-run stretch to help bring yourself back to baseline!